News

Courtesy of Nicole Zelniker

For Maia Dery, sitting still has never been much of an option. Her teacher had her sit out in the halls to not disturb other students, and as soon as she had her precious drivers license, Dery routinely skipped school to escape to Duke Forest. As Dery says, she never did well in boxes.

 Demolition crews dismantle the building at 806 N. Duke St., next to the site of the April gas explosion in Durham, N.C.
Elizabeth Friend / WUNC

The landscape of North Duke Street in Durham is slowly starting to change, three months after a deadly gas explosion tore apart a block near downtown.  

Demolition crews have leveled one building next to the site of the explosion at the Kaffeinate coffee shop. That address, 806 N. Duke St., is the only one on the block with an active demolition permit, according to city records.

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

As the budget stalemate lingers in Raleigh, rumors of another gubernatorial candidate came to fruition this week.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

A study out of Michigan examining the persistence of chemicals like PFAS in drinking water could have repercussions for communities in North Carolina.

Press Photo of Nicole Byer
Courtesy of Nicole Byer

If you're an aspiring culinary artist, there are plenty of shows to watch for inspiration — “Chopped,” “Master Chef” and “The Great British Bake Off” let viewers watch kitchen magic unfold. But Nicole Byer's Emmy-nominated series "Nailed It" is gaining traction for turning the premise of cooking competitions on its head. Instead of dishing up exquisite treats, its inexperienced competitors fail spectacularly.

Black and white Marines served side by side during the Vietnam War, as seen in this 1966 photo of a firefight with the Viet Cong. But racial tension was not uncommon throughout the armed services.
U.S. Marine Corps

Camp Lejeune, N.C. was the first of several bases to experience racial violence during the Vietnam War. It led to major reforms in military racial policies.

Student Health are a local high school rock band with high professional ambitions.
Courtesy of Student Health

Beyond playing in the family garage and or playing at school, it can be hard for high school bands to find a foothold in the music world. The indie band Student Health are on that quest to get their music heard by a broader audience.

ICE Officers detain a man.
Charles Reed / AP

The coordinated immigration raids slated for this week did not take place at the scale announced by top administration officials.

Atlantic Coast Conference / ESPN

The Atlantic Coast Conference is roughly a month away from launching its new ESPN-partnered TV channel and still awaiting key deals with several cable providers to carry it.

Tom Augspurger (l), USFWS, taking core sample during February 8th reconnaissance of Dan River coal ash spill.
Steve Alexander / USFWS

The federal, North Carolina and Virginia governments asked a court Thursday to declare the country's largest electricity company liable for environmental damage from a leak five years ago that left miles of a river shared by the two states coated in hazardous coal ash.

An image of Angels of Epistemology
Merge Records

We've teamed up with Come Hear NC on a podcast series that explores North Carolina music one song at a time. Eric Hodge is back this week, and on this episode he chats with Laura Ballance of Merge Records about one of the labels early singles from the Raleigh band Angels of Epistemology.

Merge Records celebrates their 30th anniversay with a series of concerts in Durham and Carrboro July 24-27.

OverHook / Pixabay

A new state law creates harsher penalties for those who illegally sell drugs that result in a fatal overdose.

Under the "death by distribution" law, drug dealers can be charged with second degree murder if someone overdoses on an illegal substance they've sold.

Soy farmers have been hit particularly hard by the trade war.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Twitter

The tariff war between The White House and Beijing has hurt North Carolina farmers. Even farmers who support President Donald Trump's tactic on trade will say as much.

Now, the federal government is trying to make impacted farmers whole.

North Carolina Zoo
North Carolina Zoo

A worker died at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro Thursday morning.

In an announcement, the zoo said the fall happened during a workplace accident that did not involve animals.

President Donald Trump at a campaign event in Greenville.
The White House / Twitter

President Donald Trump said Thursday he was unhappy with his supporters chanting "send her back" after he assailed a young Democratic congresswoman who he's suggested should leave the U.S.

Albemarle Sound, NC
NASA / PD-USGOV

Large-scale algae blooms in the Albemarle Sound and its tributaries are prompting water quality experts to remind the public to avoid contact with green or blue water where algae may be over-abundant.

Cartoon image of fertilization.
Flickr Creative Commons

Infertility is a disease that affects millions of people in the United States but is rarely discussed openly. Twelve percent of married women between the ages of 15 and 44 experienced infertility, along with just over nine percent of men in that age group, according to a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those numbers translate to about one in eight couples who have trouble getting or staying pregnant. There are a variety of treatments for infertility, but they can be costly and are not accessible to everyone.

Commanding General Gen. Michael Garrett meets with N.C. National Guard soldiers at Fort Irwin where 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team is training.
U.S. Army Forces Command

Nearly 3,000 members of the North Carolina National Guard are in the middle of a massive training exercise near Death Valley, California.

The Guard's 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team has brought its tanks and hundreds more vehicles to Fort Irwin, a sprawling Army base that's used for realistic desert training.

Holly Grange says she is a big supporter of President Donald Trump.
Holly Grange / Twitter

A North Carolina state legislator has entered the 2020 gubernatorial race, providing a rival in the Republican primary for Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who's been preparing for years to seek the party's nomination.

State Rep. Holly Grange of Wilmington announced her candidacy on Thursday in a campaign video. Grange called herself a "pro-business law-and-order, Trump-supporting conservative."

Taxes
www.irs.com

The North Carolina Department of Revenue says it's arrested two businessmen on felony embezzlement charges.

A news release from the department says 47-year-old Charles Burgess and 51-year-old Peter Mark-Anthony Ellison are each charged with embezzlement of state property and embezzlement of Wake County property.

Alamance County Parks
Alamance County Parks

Alamance County Parks and Recreation and several other conservation groups want to turn the Cane Creek Mountains natural area into a park.

The mountain sits at 991 feet above sea level and is also on 1,000 acres of land. The goal is to preserve the land while allowing people to enjoy it.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

North Carolina State lawmakers and the governor have still not agreed on a new spending plan for the budget year which began now more than two weeks ago.

The biggest sticking point appears to still be the issue of Medicaid expansion.

Julie Scott / Wikimedia Commons

Tommy Wiseau’s film “The Room” is a textbook example of a cult movie. It made less than $2000 when it first opened in Los Angeles in 2003, got terrible reviews, and is dubbed by some the “Citizen Kane of bad movies.” Yet years later it became a huge hit.

President Donald Trump
The White House / Twitter

President Donald Trump is returning to North Carolina for a campaign rally in a likely presidential battleground state that he won in 2016.

Trump was scheduled to address thousands inside Smith-Williams Arena at East Carolina University on Wednesday. He'll arrive while still taking criticism for his tweet urging four Democratic congresswomen of color to return to their countries.

Dan McCready at a campaign event in Wadesboro.
McCready For Congress / Twitter

The Democrat in a North Carolina U.S. House special election ordered after a ballot-collection scandal has a big financial lead over his Republican rival in the race to represent a GOP-leaning district.

North Carolina is now tracking babies born with alcohol or drug dependencies.
Tulane Publications / Flickr, Creative Commons

Open enrollment began this week for 540,000 Medicaid recipients in North Carolina who will be transitioning from fee-for-service to a managed care system.

"This change is the most signifigant one that has happend in the Medicaid program since its inception," said Debra Farrington, chief of staff of the N.C. Medicaid program.

Farrington said enrollees will be asked to select from a number of pre-paid health plans administered by private entities contracting with the state and physicians.

Wayne Lawrence / ProPublica

For generations, black landowners in the South relied on informal agreements, instead of wills, to keep property in the family. In a new article from investigative news outlet ProPublica, reporter Lizzie Presser investigated the story of a Carteret County family’s land loss and how African Americans across the country lost about 90% of their farmland between 1910 and 1997. Host Anita Rao talks with Lizzie Presser about the political, economic and emotional cost of black landholders losing their family property.

Promotional material for the podcast of Reema Khrais standing in front of a receipt reading 'This is Uncomfortable.'
Courtesy of Marketplace

Do you follow up with friends about money they owe you, or do you let it slide? Would you pay your romantic partner to do the dishes? How about asking your coworker how much they make? The subject of money is ever-present yet it’s often one of the toughest conversations to broach with friends, family and colleagues.
 

Event dates are available on her website.
Deborah Triplett / Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

In the new young adult novel “Something Like Gravity” (Margaret K. McElderry Books/2019), author Amber Smith approaches the classic theme of first love, through a dark lens.
 

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper
Governor's Office / Twitter

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's re-election campaign says it took in more than $4.5 million during the first six months of this year.

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